Make plastic armor using InstaMorph Moldable Plastic to protect your glassware.
Our local makerspace theMakerStation recently participated in an Instructables build night for InstaMorph moldable plastic.
I had this nice glass water bottle, but I'm afraid I'm one hard bump away from breaking it, so I decided to try making some plastic armor for it using InstaMorph.
You can find pics of the event on our meetup page:
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Step 1: Gather Materials (and Friends and Fellow Makers)
- InstaMorph moldable plastic, qty 1 package
- Alcohol based stamp ink/dye, qty 1 bottle per desired color (can be found in stamp section of your favorite craft supply store... mine is Michaels)
- Nitrile or Latex gloves if using ink dyes for coloring
- Apron to protect clothes if using ink dyes for coloring
- Pyrex glass bowl for adding coloring to the heated InstaMorph plastic
- Hot water, approximately 1 quart/liter using stove, hot plate, or crock pot as available
- Metal fork or spoon
- Ad-hoc metal rolling pin, a 6 inch socket wrench extension works pretty well, and can of soda(not pictured) works great
- Glassware in need of armor
- Friends, colleagues, fellow makers as available
Step 2: Summary Steps
You can find details of how to use InstaMorph on their excellent website: www.instamorph.com/instructions
Here is summary of what I did:
- Heat water (hot but less than boiling)
- Dump InstaMorph pellets into water, approximately a handful of pellets.
- When the pellets turn clear, remove from water using a metal fork or spoon
- Add color dye/ink, approx 5-10 drops
- (Use gloves as needed to keep dye off of hands)
- Knead pellets to mix color and start to flatten out the plastic into a "sheet" of plastic
- Reheat the "sheet" in hot water until it is soft and clear again
- Remove from water and roll "sheet" to desired thickness using ad-hoc rolling pin
- Reheat sheet one last time until it is soft
- Remove from water and place it on your desired glassware to obtain desired shape
- Use other items as molds as needed
- Work the plastic as needed and apply final decorations
- Take photos to share your handy work
Step 3: Finish
Mold the plastic to the desired shape and size. You can trim it with scissors as needed. You can also reheat the plastic with hot water to soften it and rework it.
As shown in the pics, was done after three attempts. I was planning to trim the "armor" aiming for a more polished and finished look, but my friend liked it as shown in the pics saying it had a nice hand crafted and artistic look. He gave me a hard time about being an engineer trying to make it look polished.
I took it home and asked my wife if it was ugly and she replied that "it is not pretty", but I like it and think that the plastic looks like dripped/molded wax which gives a bit of a turn of the century look about it.
Future ideas for working with InstaMorph could include using red ink and going for a red wax look... may look really cool in steam punk projects.
Lastly, I like putting decals on my water bottles and our build night pack conveniently included both Instructables and InstaMorph decals for that perfect finishing touch. They kind of throw off the turn of the century look but give props to another successful Instructables build nite down at the station.
If you are in the Atlanta area, come check out our makerspace in Marietta two blocks south of the historic Marietta Square.